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Tampa-area journalist and PR professional Nancy Howe dies

  • By Louis Llovio
  • | 5:45 p.m. May 22, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Nancy Howe, a prominent local journalist and business owner who for years published Tampa Bay Newswire and owned the communications company KnowHowe, has died. She was 73.

The cause of death was cancer. 

Nancy Howe, a local journalist and the owner of the communications firm KnowHowe, has died.
Courtesy image

Friends says she had been fighting the disease for more than a year and that it began to affect her well-being. She continued writing the Newswire for much of the time but was no longer able to keep going. Her final post appeared Nov. 26. 

The story was about developer Neal Signature Homes breaking ground on a community in Bradenton.

A note soon appeared across the top of the page, telling all that the Newswire was no longer accepting submissions. “Thank you for 13 incredible years!” it said in all caps.

She died at Accent Care Hospice on Sunday, May 19.

“Nancy Howe’s legacy is one of passion, dedication and unwavering commitment to her community and profession,” says an emailed obituary announcing Howe’s death.

“She will be deeply missed by all who knew her and whose lives she touched.”

Howe first came to journalism as a student at the University of South Florida where she went to work at the then St. Petersburg Times while studying English and archeology. According to a 2001 Times profile, Howe had graduated from Lakeland High School before heading to USF and worked at the paper’s circulation department from 1970 to 1971.

In 1980 she began working at Art & Design News where, according to her LinkedIn profile, she remained as managing editor of the St. Petersburg trade publication for graphic artists until 1988.

About a year later (after spending six months in Indianapolis according to the Times), she started at the Maddux Business Report, a local business magazine.

She began at Maddux as circulation director and worked her way up to publisher, a position she held until 2010 when it ceased publishing.

At the magazine, she published the Maddux NewsWire, which eventually become the Tampa Bay Newswire, a go-to source for business news in the area. And she founded her firm, KnowHowe.

In addition to her work in journalism, she was actively involved with numerous local economic development organizations and sat on several boards.

Kyle Parks, the founder of Parks PR in St. Petersburg and a former business reporter and editor at the Times, knew her in that capacity.

Parks, who calls Howe “incredibly gracious,” says the Tampa Bay Newswire was essential reading for anyone who wanted to stay in touch with what was happening in West Central Florida.

“As far as Nancy personally, public relations professionals, like myself, worked with her for years and we always found her to be responsive, professional friendly,” he says.

“She just ran a really good outfit and was just great to work with.”

But while she’ll best remembered for the Newswire, her work in communications and community involvement, she never lost interest in archaeology.

According to the emailed obituary, she was a founding officer of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club, which is sponsored by Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa and USF. She also won awards for her paleontological discoveries and wrote extensively about archeology and paleontology.

In the 2001 Times story, she is called “an avid amateur paleontologist” who regularly volunteered at the Leisey Shell Pit, a site in Ruskin where fossils were discovered in the 1980s.

“It appeared,” Howe told the Times, “that during the Ice Age, animals did what old people do: come to Florida.”

Details on services for Howe are pending.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the deputy managing editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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